Knight Center
Knight Center

JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Press groups express concern over freedom of expression in Colombia



Inspired by Colombia's Journalist Day, the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP in Spanish) presented a report expressing its concern over the state of freedom of expression in Colombia. The Colombian Federation of Journalists also released a statement noting that while there were fewer reporters killed in 2011, violence against journalists continues to rise in the Andean country.

After documenting 131 cases and speaking with more than 300 reporters over the last year, FLIP reported, "it's evident that there is a lot fear in the local media, where many prefer to remain silent than run the risk of violence."

According to the magazine Semana, the FLIP report indicated that many local journalists avoid covering sensitive topics like "the links between illegal armed groups, illegal mining, drug trafficking and political corruption" for fear for violent reprisals.

Violence, self-censorship and impunity were listed as the biggest problems facing journalists in Colombia since the security situation has improved from earlier years, reported the news agency EFE. In January 2012, the Committee to Protect Journalists published a report expressing their concern that criminal gangs "intimidate and silence" Colombian journalists.

Impunity is also a major challenge to bringing attackers to justice, as seen in the long list of open cases, reported the Inter American Press Association.



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